Treating Pulmonary Hypertension in Newborns

Have you heard about pulmonary hypertension in newborns?

High blood pressure (or hypertension) is a very common and often serious condition that millions of people around the world are suffering from. 

There are a few different types of this condition that a person can suffer from, one in particular being pulmonary hypertension, which is a term use to describe continuous high blood pressure in the pulmonary artery.

There are two different types of pulmonary hypertension that may develop:

  • The first one is primary pulmonary arterial hypertension, which is inherited or which occurs for no known reason.

  • The second one is secondary pulmonary arterial hypertension, which is either caused by or occurs because of another condition.


Pulmonary hypertension in newborns

Pulmonary hypertension in babies is an extremely serious condition because of the serious dangers that it can present. Although pulmonary hypertension in babies is not common, there is the chance that it could seriously compromise the baby’s health and have long term complications.

Newborn sleeping

It is important to understand how pulmonary hypertension in babies works and what is involved, especially before you attempt to treat it. In the uterus a baby’s circulation bypasses the lungs, and normally when a baby is born and begins to breathe air on his own the circulatory system quickly adapts to the outside world. 

There are some cases however in which the fetal circulatory system does not switch over as it should and as a result even though the baby is breathing, oxygen in the breathed air will not reach the bloodstream.

The signs and symptoms

It is very important to be aware of the common signs and symptoms associated with this condition, so you will be able to notice them if they ever develop in your own child. 

This includes:

  • rapid or irregular breathing
  • rapid heart rate
  • respiratory distress
  • cyanosis

The treatment

There are a few different options when it comes to the treatment of pulmonary hypertension in babies. The first step is to maximize the amount of oxygen being delivered to the baby’s lungs. This will help determine the severity of the condition and from this which particular treatment is going to be best suited.

If your child has a lung problem related to this condition for instance then his breathing rate may be set at a higher than usual rate and pressure through the mechanical ventilator. Research has shown that additionally other methods have been used for babies with this condition; they may also be successful and work by improving blood flow to the lungs in some babies with pulmonary hypertension.

Pulmonary hypertension in babies can be a frightening condition, but it is important to know that there is help out there and things that can be done in order to help lower your child’s blood pressure.


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